Finding Joy in Unromantic Autumns

Ah, the glories of autumn! North winds blowing colors of crimson and gold into leaves. Fizzling cider. Warm, flickering candles. Orange pumpkins. Soothing rain. Camp fires. Spice. Wool blankets. Pies. Pattering rain. Apple picking. Jumping into leaves.

Except, here in Texas, I’ve never actually experienced an autumn like this (though to be fair, we do have pies. Pecan pie, to be exact. The best pie ever, in fact.)

Just to be clear, this was in Maine. The closest to romantic autumn I’ve ever gotten.

Our idea of autumn’s arrival is the temperature dropping from the hundreds and into the nineties. Since it’s not cold enough, the trees don’t change color. There’s no point in having candles, or camp fires, or blankets because it’s too hot. It’s sunny every day.

I do realize how ridiculous I sound.

Complaining about warm temperatures? Complaining about too much sunshine? Is that even a thing?

It’s a thing, especially for dramatic, sentimental beings like myself.

But lo and behold, a few days ago, it was cold. The north wind finally decided to pay us a visit. When I opened the door, I didn’t have to brace myself for the stifling heat. Instead, I got a fresh embrace of cool air. Many of the leaves outside were tinged in yellow edges. Rain sprinkled down in grey hazes. I got to snuggle up in blankets with a book.

Finally! Autumn was here! I could leap for joy!

Then came swim practice. Standing by the edge of the pool, all ready to go in my swimsuit, the wind from the cracks in the windows sent goosebumps into my skin. I shivered and, forgetting the number one rule of entering the water – diving in without touching it first – I stuck a toe in the icy water. Instantly I missed the heat of summer and wanted only to get back in my warm sweater, hop in the car, and get back to that book.

But, since my ever-selfless swim mate was so kind as to push me in, I went toppling into the freezing water.

It was the fastest 300 meter freestyle I’ve ever swam.

Eventually, of course, I grew accustomed to the water, the only difficulties being breathing in the cold air and my arms shivering every time they lifted out of the water. But thank goodness for swimming indoors. I couldn’t imagine what swimming outside would be like.

But then my lovely coach decided it was time for diving, in which I was supposed to get out of the water into cold air, walk on the cold deck, and climb onto the metal diving block, which was bound to be colder than the deck.

I had a very fast dive.

All of this is my roundabout way of expressing the importance of enjoying the seasons as they come. Enjoy spring, when bluebonnets blossom, birds build nests, and the air is fresh. Enjoy summer, when the days are long, the pool is warm, and the tropical flowers bloom furiously. Enjoy autumn, when it starts to rain, when pecan pies are in stock, when the air grows fresh once more. Enjoy winter, when Christmas comes, when icicles line the roof, when colorful lights twinkle from every household.

And even if they’re not quite what you expect, when autumn has no color or when winter has no snow, enjoy them nonetheless. Because how depressing is it to find the joy in things only when they’re gone?

It was back to ninety degrees the day later, back to t-shirts and shorts, back to stifling heat, but I’m okay with it. The pool at swim practice was luxuriously warm. The tropical hibiscus flowers opened up. My feet weren’t constantly numb.

Every season has its joys and sorrows, and I’m determined to bask in the joys.

Appreciate your autumn colors if you have them. Appreciate the warmth if you have that. It’s a month before Thanksgiving, but it’s never too early to start being thankful.

I’ll stop being sappy and dramatic now and get straight to the point.

Happy Autumn!

6 thoughts on “Finding Joy in Unromantic Autumns

  1. Where I use to live we would often get a 90 degree Christmas. Then I moved and it snowed before Thanksgiving and before the leaves were off the trees. Thankfully this year we have Autumn (at least the beginnings of it so far) but I love this post. It is such a wonderful reminder. 🙂


  2. I am so happy that I have found your blog (or more accurately, that you kindly shared the link with me because I couldn’t find it for myself)! You are certainly not alone in complaining about hot weather. I personally love cool spring and autumn weather better than the heat of summer. A lot of my friends LIVE for summer, but that is not me. I like to be cozy with a blanket and a book. But you have a very excellent point that we should enjoy each season as it comes! It is indeed depressing when you only appreciate the things that you don’t have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you like it. 🙂 YES, spring and autumn are the best. I do enjoy swimming outside in the summer sunshine, and the beach, but as you said, few things surpass the glories of snuggling up with books and blankets. 😛 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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